EE's temporary summer promotion, which increased data caps on two-year contracts for new sign-ups, was due to end before October. It didn't, however, and today's news suggests why. Starting October 30th, EE is splitting its 24-month 4G contract-plus-handset plans (what we imagine is the most common route new customers choose) into two tiers based on max potential download speeds. Furthermore, new data-only plans are being introduced for power users, as well as gigabyte-based incentives to tempt you into letting EE deal with your home broadband and mobile. Head past the break for more intel.
Revamped 24-month with handset plans
The table above tells you almost everything you need to know about the new two-tier contract system. White boxes represent plans with LTE download speeds of up to 30 Mbps, although actual speeds will vary on your location, network congestion, et cetera. EE likes to call this "single speed," but in reality we're talking about a spectrum allocation of 2 x 10MHz. Prices on this lower tier begin at £19 per month for 500MB of data, although it can be as much as £45 depending of the phone you choose. However, this is the first EE plan of its kind that doesn't include unlimited minutes (for reference, the current 500MB option starts at £26 per month with unlimited minutes). At the top of this lower "4GEE" tier is a 5GB plan from £30 per month.
Moving up to the imaginatively named "4GEE Extra" tier (shown in yellow) grants you access to double the spectrum (2 x 20MHz), and up to 60 Mbps download speeds as a result (EE calls this "double speed," although you probably guessed that already). Starting at 4GB for £27 per month with the cheapest handset, it goes all the way up to 50GB per month for £75. Any customers jumping on the Extra tier also get a bonus of unlimited roaming calls and texts in 30 countries, which includes the US and Australia. It's an attempt to answer Three's free roaming push, but only contracts signed until January 31st will get this additional incentive on EE.
New data-only 'super user' plans
In addition to the data-only SIM and hardware-included plans EE currently provides, it's adding two "super user" plans for the data insatiable. The two-year contract options now include 20GB for £36 per month and 50GB for £50 per month. Currently, the highest cap on data-only plans is 8GB for £26 per month, or 24GB for an up-front fee of £120 on PAYG (both SIM-only prices). Also, any new customers that go for a monthly or PAYG mobile broadband tariff will get up to 60 Mbps download speeds as long as they buy 4GB or more.
Home broadband and mobile bundles
Everybody loves a bundle, right? Well, if you want EE to deal with all the ways you might access the internet, then the company will offer you 10GB of free data on your pay-monthly phone contract if you also sign-up for home broadband. If your phone bill comes in at £46 or more, EE will up that data bump to 20GB. Home broadband options start at £2.50 per month (for the first year, £5 thereafter) for up to 16 Mbps speeds, but don't forget the £14.75 per month line-rental charge.
As well as the more immediate changes EE is putting in place this month, it's also revealed a few tidbits we're to expect in the future. Before the end of the year, the LTE network is said to be expanding from the 117 towns and cities it currently covers to a nice round 140. Also, the network will soon announce details of a rural connectivity initiative, and next month, will fill us in on aspirations of a 300 Mbps LTE-A network -- which is due to be tested in London this year and hopefully launch in 2014. We imagine the branding team is going to have fun thinking of slogans for those kinds of speeds.
EE UNVEILS THE BEST VALUE 4G PLANS IN EUROPE ON THE WORLD'S FASTEST NETWORK
The UK's most affordable 4G pay monthly handset plans set to launch alongside the UK's first 4G pay as you go handset options and a unique converged 4G and home broadband bundle
New '4GEE Extra' handset plans and super user 4GEE mobile broadband plans introduced, combining the UK's biggest 4G data bundles with world leading speeds
EE continues to lead in speed and coverage, confirming a 300Mbps network trial, and new 4G powered home broadband plans for areas of the UK not served by superfast fixed broadband
16th October 2013. London. EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, today announced the introduction of the best value 4G plans in Europe*.
Reinforcing EE's position as the number one UK network for speed, great value and innovation - a series of 4GEE plans launch on the 30th October, designed to provide customers with a solution to meet all their superfast mobile needs. The move will allow customers across the UK to benefit from EE's award winning network, which is continuing to roll out at an unprecedented pace, and is already available in an unrivalled 117 towns and cities - reaching over 60% of the population.
Expanding the availability of superfast 4G to more users, EE is introducing the UK's most affordable 4G pay monthly handset packages, as well as the UK's first 4G pay as you go handset plans – developed to offer customers more flexibility and choice. A new converged 4G and home broadband bundle will also be available, as well as new 4G powered home broadband plans for areas of the UK not served by superfast fixed broadband - enabling even more customers to benefit from the 4G revolution.
Meanwhile, for those wanting the ultimate smartphone experience, EE is introducing '4GEE Extra', a series of pay monthly handset plans that combine the UK's biggest 4G mobile data allowances, world leading speeds, and a variety of great benefits. EE has also developed two new 4GEE mobile broadband plans for tablet super users so they can make the most out of their device's connectivity when on the move.
New 4GEE and 4GEE Extra plans for business customers are also available.
Olaf Swantee, CEO, EE said: "One year after launch, we've extended the world's fastest network across 60% of the United Kingdom. But we want to bring the power of 4GEE to even more people.
"That's why this month we are launching new plans for light users, super users, regular users, data sharers and Britain's mobile workforce up and down the country.
"Whether they want the flexibility of pay as you go, the UK's most affordable monthly plans, or to make the most from their smartphone with the world's fastest speeds and biggest data bundles, EE is the number one 4G network."
Realising 4G for all
1) UK's first 4G pay as you go handset plans
EE is set to make superfast 4G available to the 40% of mobile users who want the control and flexibility of pay as you go, with the UK's first 4G pay as you go handset plans. All 4GEE handsets currently available to pay monthly customers will be available on pay as you go, including the forthcoming Alcatel One Touch Idol S (from £129.99). From launch until 31st January 2014, every customer who buys a 4GEE pay as you go handset from an EE shop or ee.co.uk will receive an additional, one off, 10GB of mobile data, completely free, to get them started.
A range of 30 day bundles (from 100MB to 10GB), and text and call options will be available. Those who take out a data bundle greater than 2GB will benefit from EE's fastest 4G speeds as standard.
EE will also launch a Christmas pay as you go promotion. Until 31st January, all pay as you go customers on EE** can receive 2014 free minutes, to use throughout the whole of 2014.
2) The UK's most affordable 4G pay monthly handset plans
As a result of its unique double speed network, a new two-tiered approach to 4G pay monthly handset plans is being introduced. The move will see the launch of a range of entry-level 4GEE 24 month handset plans, offering UK consumers the most affordable way to take out a 4G pay monthly handset plan. The plans, which offer download speeds up to 30Mbps, and average speeds of 12-15Mbps***, complement the growing range of entry-level 4G smartphones and start from just £18.99 per month. For full package details, please see the table at the bottom of the release.
3) Converged 4G and home broadband bundle
EE is also launching a unique converged bundle for all 4GEE pay monthly handset customers, which will see their mobile data allowances increased to 10GB each month for no extra charge when they sign up to EE's unlimited home broadband service. This means customers can get 10GB of 4GEE data from just £18.99 a month. On selected mobile plans, it increases to 20GB.
4) The UK's first 4G powered home broadband
Finally, in November, EE will extend the reach of 4G even further, by introducing 4G powered home broadband products and plans tailored for areas of the country not served by superfast fixed broadband technology. This will offer huge benefits to rural areas and reaffirms EE's commitment to bringing 4G to as many people as possible. Further details on the plans will be announced in due course.
For the ultimate 4G experience
1) '4GEE Extra'
For those who want the ultimate 4G smartphone package, EE is introducing 4GEE Extra – a series of 24 month handset plans starting from just £26.99 per month. As well as unlimited UK calls and texts, 4GEE Extra customers will benefit from:
The world's fastest 4G speeds
The biggest UK 4G mobile data allowances
Inclusive roaming calls and texts in 30 international destinations incl. USA & Australia****
Superfast support with fast track customer service
2) 4GEE Mobile Broadband
Two new super user 24 month 4GEE mobile broadband plans are also being introduced to the existing range. For £36 per month, customers will be able to take out a 20GB mobile data bundle, while for £50 per month they can take out a 50GB mobile data bundle.
Furthermore, all new 4GEE customers on pay monthly or pay as you go mobile broadband plans of 4GB of data or more will receive EE's fastest network speeds as part of their plan.
Added benefits only on EE
All new 4GEE and 4GEE Extra customers on pay monthly handset plans with unlimited calling minutes (starting from £23.99 per month) can choose from a range of inclusive add-ons which include unlimited access to 25 million music tracks with Deezer, 17 leading UK TV channels, or a catalogue of top-rated games. The same customers can also access EE's Shared 4GEE Plans, allowing them to share their text, voice and data allowances with up to four other users.
Network: keeping one step ahead
EE continues to offer customers across the UK an unrivalled mobile network experience, with its double speed 4G network available in 20 cities. The EE 4G service is available in 117 towns and cities, covering more than 60% of the population.
To further extend its mobile data leadership, in November EE will reveal more details on plans to trial the latest 4G speed technology, offering speeds up to 300Mbps in London this year, with wider rollout planned for 2014. The EE network is already the joint fastest network in the world, and this move will make the network the number one for speed.
Further details on the trial will be announced in due course.